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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Major in Linguistics

slavic & eastern languages and literatures


The focus of the linguistics program does not lie alone in the acquisition of language skills, but rather in learning to analyze linguistic phenomena with a view toward making significant generalizations about the nature of language.

Students majoring in Linguistics build their programs around a specific area of emphasis. In consultation with the faculty, students design a program of study tailored to individual interests and goals.

Desired Learning Outcomes Include:

  1. The ability to explicate an extended linguistic argumentation.
  2. The ability to analyze linguistic data with a view towards making significant generalizations about the corpus of data within the framework of a theory about the nature of language
  3. Acquiring an in–depth knowledge of a specific area of emphasis tailored to the student’s interests.

Typical areas of emphasis include philology (the historical and comparative study of ancient languages), psycholinguistics, and language acquisition.
A major in Linguistics prepares students for a wide array of careers including education, law, publishing, speech pathology, government service, and computer science.

Major Requirements: 31 Credits

  • LING3101 General Linguistics (3 credits)
  • LING3102 Syntax and Semantics (3 credits)
  • LING3103 Language and Language Types
    LING3104 Formalism and Functionalism in Linguistics (3 credits)
  • 6 credits in course work of a philological nature on the detailed structure of a language (see listing of such courses here: Linguistics Courses).
  • 15 additional credits drawn from departmental offerings, supplemented by approved linguistics-related courses in other departments.
  • LING4391 AB Comprehensive: Linguistics (1 credit)

Linguistics majors should develop proficiency in one foreign language and competence in at least one other language at a level appropriate to their career plans.
Further exposure to a non-Indo-European language is desirable (e.g., Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hebrew, Arabic, Turkish—all of which are taught within the Department of Slavic & Eastern Languages and Literatures)

Don't forget to visit our Linguistics Minor page.